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The Lord of Cumberland

This is the true story of three Georgia Tech students, who become stranded on Cumberland Island, GA in 1971 and have to live off the land for ten days until rescued. The central plot of the book is preceded and followed by fascinating descriptions of life during the Vietnam War Era. Probably the most interesting scene is when the author is playing Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd records with Gov. Jimmy Carter, when a very young Senator Joe Biden knocks unexpectedly at the apartment door. He subsequently asks Jimmy to run for President of the United States. The 144 pages include 88 original color photographs of Cumberland Island or Georgia in 1971 – the year of the expedition.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

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